VALLEY CENTER MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT
Regular Board Meeting
Monday, November 19, 2007
Time: 2:00 P.M.
Place: Board Room
29300 Valley Center Road
Valley Center, CA 92082
The Valley Center Municipal Water District Board of Directors’ meeting was called to order by President Broomell at 2:00 P.M.
Board members present were: Directors Broomell, Polito, Aleshire, Stone and Haskell. Staff members present were: General Manager Arant, General Counsel Cowett, District Engineer Grabbe, Director of Finance Jeffrey, Director of Operations Hoyle, Manager of Accounting Pugh, Board Secretary Stetson, Consumer Services Supervisor Tilley, Sr. Administrative Assistant Johnson and IT Manager Rivard. Spectators present were: Mr. Roland Clark and Mr. David Ross, Roadrunner Newspaper.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Upon motion by Polito, seconded by Stone and unanimously carried, consideration by the Board to ratify the District’s application for disaster assistance to recover costs incurred as a result of the fire of 2007 was added to the agenda per Government Code §54954.2 as Agenda No. 5A.
1. Upon motion by Polito, seconded by Stone and unanimously carried, the following consent calendar items were approved:
• Minutes of the Board meeting held November 5, 2007
• Audit demand check numbers 115719 through 115927
• Quitclaim of Easement to Welk Garden Villas, the remaining portion of the 20-foot pipeline easement (File No. 13047) recorded January 23, 1963
2. Adoption of Interim Agricultural Water Program Supply Reduction Implementation Plan, January 2008:
The District’s Interim Agricultural Water Program (IAWP) Supply Reduction Implementation Plan to be effective January 2008, was presented to the Board for formal adoption. The Plan was reviewed by General Manager Arant as summarized below:
► IAWP participants will be required to reduce their water usage by 30% effective with the bills of January 2008, based upon usage in the months of July 2006 through June 2007.
► Customers who ceased participating in the IAWP prior to December 31, 2006, are not subject to the usage reduction, and customers who entered the program after January 1, 2007, have the option of leaving the program and have been so advised.
► The District’s billing format has been changed to reflect the allocation for the specific month and the amount of usage over and under the monthly allocation.
► Usage under an allocation will be a “usage credit” to offset over-usage in future months of the 2008 Program.
► Water usage over the allocation will be billed at a penalty rate of $1,482 per acre foot, or $3.40/HCF which includes a penalty rate of $818/AF or $1.87/HCF (normal rate: $664/AF & $1.53/HCF).
► Usage over the allocation for January and February 2008 water bills will not be penalized. However, cumulative net usage over the monthly allocations for January and February will be penalized and collected on the March 2008 bill.
► Penalties paid can be regained with conservation in future months of the initial program. But, penalties not earned back at the end of the first 12-month program cannot be earned back in a subsequent program.
► Accounts under the same ownership may be grouped into one master account. As such, all penalties, flow restrictions, etc. will apply to all meters in the group. And, on a one time basis and with restrictions, allocations may be moved between months to offset usage anomalies.
► After March 2008, accounts exceeding the allocation and usage credits by 10% for two consecutive billing periods will receive a “Notice of Possible Flow Restriction.” Continued usage beyond 10% of the monthly allocation will result in a 50% flow restriction, additional fines and/or termination of service.
► Customer will be charged for the cost, on a time and material basis, for installation and removal of a flow restrictor.
Staff decisions pertaining to the supply reduction implementation may be appealed to the Director of Finance within 15 calendar days of the date of the provision or decision being appealed. Decisions by the Director of Finance may be appealed to the General Manager within 15 calendar days. The General Manager shall then have 30 calendar days to render a decision on the appeal. All staff-level decisions may be appealed to the Board, and the decision by the Board shall be final. During the appeal process, all provisions and decisions under appeal shall remain in full effect until the conclusion of the appeal process.
Director Haskell inquired as to the feasibility of combining or grouping meters that are leased by the same individual or entity. Director Haskell stated he has been approached concerning the possibility of pooling the allocations of agricultural lease holdings. Following discussion on this proposal, General Counsel was directed to develop an agreement that will protect the District and underlying property owner. It was stipulated that approval by the property owner(s) to group the account with the lessee’s accounts would need to be obtained, as well as verification of title on the property and the lease agreement. Said agreement to combine a lease holder’s account will be brought to the Board for consideration of adoption at a future Board meeting.
Director Polito stated that many agricultural accounts are in need of increased allocations due to such circumstances as the freeze, fire, lower production of wells and for newer plantings. General Manager Arant clarified that unused allocations will be monitored for possible re-allocation. It was noted that Metropolitan Water District has allocated 27,858.2 acre feet to the District for Fiscal Year 2007-08 for IAWP water deliveries. Metropolitan is making no allowance for increased allocations.
The public hearing to consider adoption of the Supply Reduction Implementation Plan was opened at 3:00 p.m.
Mr. Roland Clark of 15680 Rim of the Valley stated he has owned his 5.2 acre parcel since 1992. The fire in 2003 destroyed approximately 80% of his grove on the property. At this time, his trees that were grafted and those newly planted require more water than during the supply reduction base year of 2006-07. Mr. Clark stated that basing a 30% cut back on his water use in 2006-07 amounts to a 74% cutback in water compared to his water usage prior to the fire. He asked for consideration of an increase of his monthly allocations for 2008 through re-allocation of excess IAWP water allocated by Metropolitan.
General Counsel Cowett stated that standards will need to be developed for administering a re-allocation of unused allocations. Such a re-allocation would need to be publicized. A process for reallocation of excess water may be established, and such reallocation could be based on ET data.
Upon motion by Polito, seconded by Stone and unanimously carried, the following ordinance adopting the Interim Agricultural Water Program Supply Reduction Implementation Plan, as shown on the attached Exhibit “A”, to be effective January 2008, entitled:
ORDINANCE NO. 2007-15
ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF
THE VALLEY CENTER MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT
ADOPTING THE INTERIM AGRICULTURAL WATER
PROGRAM SUPPLY REDUCTION IMPLEMENTATION
PLAN, JANUARY 2008
was adopted by the following vote, to wit:
AYES: Directors Broomell, Polito, Aleshire, Stone and Haskell
3. Review of the Response During the 2007 Fire Storms and Assessment of Future Needs for Disaster Preparedness:
Director of Operations Hoyle reviewed the actions and response by the District during the October 2007 fire storms. Following is a summary of actions taken:
Witch Creek & Harris Fires Break Out
· Opened the District’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
· Emergency generators were placed at two “at risk” pump stations.
· IT staff backed up all data files and removed discs from immediate fire area.
Poomacha Fire Breaks Out
· With VC residents being evacuated, office personnel were called and advised not to come to work.
· With power situation uncertain, natural gas engines were started at Betsworth, Valley Center and San Gabriel Pump Stations.
· Fire hoses were laid out at District office, Cool Valley Reservoir and Cobb Reservoir.
· Dried brush moved away from District’s eastern fence line.
· Assessment/patrol teams dispatched throughout day and evening to vulnerable areas.
· Coordinated with local and Cal Fire logistics teams in establishing usage of District property on Lilac Road.
· Assisted local and Cal Fire by providing GIS mapping data, refueling fire trucks, and repairing fire engine when requested.
· Two Mutual Aid Requests were accommodated. Provided Yuima MWD with a 400 kW generator, and provided Ramona MWD with 12 personnel to assist in reestablishing water service to their customers.
No District property or facilities were damaged during the Poomacha Fire. Since the fires of 2003, vegetation has been removed from the District’s reservoir and pump station sites. An assessment of how much agricultural property was damaged within our service area revealed that 118.5 acres of avocados burned.
Staff identified additional equipment and facility upgrades that would be useful in the event of future emergencies and will include the following items in the FY 2008-09 budget request:
· 6” Portable Diesel Pump (replacement)
· 200kW Portable Generator
· Increased Diesel Fuel Storage
· Miller Pump Station Transfer Switch
· 2500 Amp Main Circuit Breaker
Due to the restrictive measures implemented by law enforcement for entering the evacuation zone, staff directed additional personnel to take home District vehicles during the emergency. Director of Operations Hoyle noted that assignment of vehicles to personnel enabled employees to access the District’s facilities which proved invaluable to meet operational needs during the evacuation period. A request to assign the five Field Supervisors with permanent 24 hour use of District vehicles that will be considered by the Board could be reviewed on an individual basis.
4. Authorization to Apply for Disaster Assistance for the Fire of 2007.
Director of Finance Jeffrey requested Board approval for staff to apply for state disaster assistance to recover costs incurred as a result of the recent fire storm. Total costs are expected to be under $60,000.
Upon motion by Polito, seconded by Haskell and unanimously carried, the Board of Directors ratified the District’s application for disaster assistance for the fire of 2007.
5. Review of Policies on Use of District Vehicles and Emergency and Immediate Non-Emergency Action Authorization Procedures:
Emergency expenditures pursuant to the fire storms of October 2007; specifically District vehicle assignments, and payment of administrative leave, had been discussed at the November 6th board meeting. Staff had been directed to develop a policy to address these matters.
The proposed amendments to Administrative Code Section 5.12, Personal Use of District Vehicles, better defines and segregates the daily regular use of District vehicles and those assigned for permanent or temporary 24 hour use. Field personnel use District vehicles during assigned regular working hours and the Administrative Code clarifies that the vehicles are not for personal use. Vehicles assigned for permanent or temporary 24 hour use are to be used to commute to and from work with an allowance for de minimis personal use that is defined as incidental personal use. The Code revisions clarify that permanent 24 hour use assignments of District vehicles shall be approved by the Board of Directors. At present, the Director of Operations and the twenty-four hour duty personnel are assigned permanent 24 hour use of District vehicles.
Section 225.3, Emergency Authority, has added verbiage to set forth that in an emergency requiring immediate action, the General Manager is authorized to approve administrative leave as necessitated by the circumstances, and assign personnel District vehicles for temporary 24 hour use. The Board President’s approval of such emergency action will be sought and ratification by the full Board at a subsequent Board meeting requested.
The Board concurred with the proposed Administrative Code changes which will be formally presented to the Board at a future meeting for adoption.
6. Treasurer’s Report and Financial Statements:
The District’s Treasurer’s Report and Financial Statements for the period ended September 30, 2007, including a narration on the investments and financial results, were presented for the Board’s review. The narrations will be included in the monthly report on a quarterly basis. It was noted that as of September 30th, the District’s average yield on its investments was 4.850% which exceeds the performance measurement standard of the average 12 month rolling Treasury Bond yield.
GENERAL MANAGER’S AGENDA
7. District Status Report:
The District’s Status Report for October 2007 was reviewed. Water sales for October were 500 ac. ft. higher than October 2006. However, water projections for the fiscal year are not expected to be met with the impending 30% cutbacks in agricultural water sales. The automated meter reading conversion is progressing. As of the end of October, 4,265 AMR devices have been installed. The average miles per gallon for the District’s fleet has improved to 10.1 MPG which is a result of the mid-sized vehicles that have been purchased as replacement vehicles.
The California Coastal Commission granted a conditional permit at its hearing on November 15th on the proposed Carlsbad-Poseidon Resources seawater desalination facility. A plan for the project’s carbon neutral foot print and entrainment must be submitted. The State Lands Commission will again consider approving the desal. project at its December 3rd meeting.
Environmental studies of the site for the proposed solar energy project on the District’s Lake Turner property for biological habitat and archaeological findings have been completed. The project will be exempt from CEQA as there were no endangered species, sensitive habitat. or archaeological findings. The reports will be presented to the Board and construction may begin in early 2008.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ AGENDA
8. ACWA Board of Directors’ Meeting:
ACWA has responded to the second draft Report issued by the Delta Vision Task Force in developing a vision for a sustainable Delta. ACWA is in concurrence with the position in the draft which places equal importance on the environment and water supply. ACWA’s response emphasizes that some form of isolated facility is a necessary part of any vision for the Delta’s future. The assertion that water exports from the Delta will be reduced in the future is questioned as researchers estimate that conveyance improvements could increase and not reduce supply. ACWA’s response states that “The crisis in the delta is fundamentally physical and should be fixed immediately.”
Director Aleshire noted that a survey was taken to gauge the effect of ACWA’s state-wide public education effort to inform Californians about the state’s water system and the challenges confronting it. Before the education program was launched, a survey indicated that 37% of the people surveyed had heard something about water problems. A survey conducted after 1-1/2 months of the education program of paid media advertising and outreach efforts indicated that 56% of the people had heard of the state’s water situation which is a 19% increase. The public education program will continue through November 2007. Continued funding of a state-wide water education program has been proposed through an increase in the ACWA dues.
9. Upon motion by Aleshire, seconded by Haskell and unanimously carried, the meeting was adjourned at 5:02 p.m.